Nov 16, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Desmond Roland (26) runs the ball past Texas Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond (33) during the first quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Projected Starter: Desmond Roland
Even though the running back position might be unsure overall, it is not lacking a front-runner.
Once the Jeremy Smith-as-a-starter experiment was mercifully ended, OSU looked to the depth chart to find someone who could insert some explosiveness to the position. Roland more than filled that role.
Even though he would not repeat the same feat later on in the year, Roland’s debut with 219 yards and 4 touchdowns at Iowa State showed us that he had the potential to be just what the doctor ordered. He would go on to have a big game against Oklahoma with 144 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Roland is definitely the most seasoned running back option for this year’s team, both in years and playing experience. He has shown the last two years that he has the skill set to be a threat every down, but will this be the year he finally breaks out with a monster season?
Roland is not the fastest player on the team and is not the most explosive. What Roland does have, however, is a very good field vision. Roland has the ability to pick his spots and run with head full of steam and shoulders down. Once he is out in the open field, then Roland has the ability to separate.
Unfortunately, Roland comes into this year with an offensive line that has lost its coach along with its starting center. So whether or not Roland can still play his game is something that will need to be figured out soon. On the other hand, Roland will be that much more impressive if he breaks out in a year with a questionable offensive line. If Roland can get off to a good start, barring the breakout of teammate Tyreek Hill, he will be a force to be reckoned with on a team that will sorely need his rushing ability.
Next: Rennie Childs